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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Today I took the pledge...

He has preserved our lives
    and kept our feet from slipping.
Psalms 66:9 (NIV)

“He has preserved our lives and
kept our feet from slipping.”
He watches, preserving us, and
we no longer need to be afraid.

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This will be the first day back to school in our community. Towns across our county are not uniform in their school calendaring; some children went back today, meaning it takes longer for me to drive from place to place. Crossing guards patrol intersections. We should be alert to little legs darting out from unexpected places; we must pay attention even when they do not. I have not always been the most careful motorist, and I confess to being distracted occasionally. Today I had enough. Today I took the pledge. I didn’t wait for a disaster to make me thankful for my blessing. It was simply time. 

According to http://www.distraction.gov/, the official US Government website for Distracted Driving:
  • In 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
  • In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.(CTIA)
  • 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.(Pew)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Monash University)
  • Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (VTTI)
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)
  • Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)
I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child; nor would I dare risking the heartbreak associated with being responsible for causing harm. It is just unnecessary. Charles H. Spurgeon's exposition of Psalms 66 in the Treasury of David explains our blessings as follows:
… the preservation of life, and especially the soul's life, is a great reason for gratitude but much more when we are called to undergo extreme trials, which of themselves would crush our being. Blessed be God, who, having put our souls into possession of life, has been pleased to preserve that heaven given life
We walk through so much of our lives unaware of the measure of Grace by which we move. I choose not to take so much for granted any more.

Tomorrow morning my husband and I will place the two most treasured blessings in our life in the back of our car and drive them off to the first day of school. Again. We do everything we can to make them safe as every parent desires to do…I’ve just done a little more.

“He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.” He watches, preserving us, and we no longer need to be afraid.  We do not need disasters to be truly thankful for our blessings. It is simply time. Will you take the pledge, any pledge, any active commitment to Grace? In acknowledging yet another way upon which I depend on Him, I happily recognize that God is good.

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